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Old 06-03-2007, 11:13 PM
 
Location: FL
1,318 posts, read 5,392,067 times
Reputation: 917

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Ok, I didn't know whether to put this in the Cali forums, AZ forums or NV forums, so I figured here is best. I am seriously considered going to Death Valley in July or Aug. I was wanting to fly into Phoenix and drive through Bullhead & Havasu - I'd like to feel both (note I say feel instead of see! ) - but the drive from Phoenix to either place is about 4 HOURS!!! And then however long to Death Valley! After all that driving - who the hell has the energy to hike?! I see the closest airport is Vegas, but I've been to their slot filled airport (flight from the Springs to Tucson - is that outta the way or whaaaat?! ) & have absolutely no desire to step foot in Vegas. So for any of you that have done this trip, (especially from FL, or the East Coast, & by plane) please share your experiences & wisdoms. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,893 posts, read 5,263,430 times
Reputation: 2650
I went, but in January (not this January- many years ago), and it was one of the best times of my life! We DID fly into Vegas, but only stayed long enough to pick up the rental car and drive out of town. It took us a few hours to get where we were going for the night (Panamint Springs), but it was a nice drive (well, no- actually was it was bizarre, but the overall experience was cool).
I can't even imagine going there in July or August! Too Hot! I'm a Maine girl, and tend to wither once the mercury hits 90*.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:30 PM
 
5,598 posts, read 17,366,605 times
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Yes, I agree, hiking in Death Valley in July or August????

I've done some exploring through there in February and it was pleasant but if you're planning to go in July or August, it's going to be way too hot to even get out of the car! Temperatures could be around 120 degrees, maybe even more. No way you'd want to be hiking. Plan a trip like that in the winter!

Remember, the hottest temperature ever recored in the U.S. was in Death Valley and that was in July ...I think it was 134 degrees F.


And yes, the best way, as deerislismile has said, would be to fly into McCarran ...it's just an airport, you're not required to play the slots on the way out!
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,377,947 times
Reputation: 907
If you look at a map, you'll see Fort Irwin near Death Valley. The Army has a very expansive training center there, and the northern edges almost touch Death Valley.

That being said, yes, I've flown there and ridden a bus in. I've flown in, ridden a bus to a nearby rail yard and driven in via authorized off-road routes in a convoy of wheeled vehicles. I've also "camped" and "hiked" in that area (lol).

Seriously, the desert, any desert, can't be taken lightly. You better know exactly what you are doing, exactly where you're going, and have a firm handle on your resources and emergency plans.

The weather can throw you for a loop. Depending on where you are in relation to the various mountains / ranges, you can boil and freeze in the same 24 hour period. I can probably say that in that one place, I've been the coldest and hottest I'd ever want to be.

There's lots of critters designed to survive there, unlike us, so study up on them as well.

Also, there's protected areas. There's certain parts of the American desert where you aren't supposed to walk, drive, ride, etc. In other parts you have to stay on designated trails. The fines are heavy. Some of the plants out there are protected too.

Just like any other remote place, do your homework (other than asking random joes on the 'net) and design survivability into your plan. When I was out there, I had a whole Brigade task force to rely on -- up in Death Valley as a tourist would be a whole different ball-game.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,389,357 times
Reputation: 10115
Quote:
Originally Posted by caution View Post
If you look at a map, you'll see Fort Irwin near Death Valley. The Army has a very expansive training center there, and the northern edges almost touch Death Valley.

That being said, yes, I've flown there and ridden a bus in. I've flown in, ridden a bus to a nearby rail yard and driven in via authorized off-road routes in a convoy of wheeled vehicles. I've also "camped" and "hiked" in that area (lol).

Seriously, the desert, any desert, can't be taken lightly. You better know exactly what you are doing, exactly where you're going, and have a firm handle on your resources and emergency plans.

The weather can throw you for a loop. Depending on where you are in relation to the various mountains / ranges, you can boil and freeze in the same 24 hour period. I can probably say that in that one place, I've been the coldest and hottest I'd ever want to be.

There's lots of critters designed to survive there, unlike us, so study up on them as well.

Also, there's protected areas. There's certain parts of the American desert where you aren't supposed to walk, drive, ride, etc. In other parts you have to stay on designated trails. The fines are heavy. Some of the plants out there are protected too.

Just like any other remote place, do your homework (other than asking random joes on the 'net) and design survivability into your plan. When I was out there, I had a whole Brigade task force to rely on -- up in Death Valley as a tourist would be a whole different ball-game.
Very well said! Cheers!

The desert is no joke, it can and will kill you. And if it doesnt, the animals that dwell there can (if youre not careful).
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Wi for the summer--Vegas in the winter
653 posts, read 3,132,372 times
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I have been to Death Valley 4 times. 3 times just driving through. The other time spent 3 days exploring/camping (in April). Most people probably think that it is a ugly or boring place. I , however, find the stark beauty almost beyond description. So peaceful and QUIET. But as said--respect the harsh environment if visiting there--NO matter what time of year you go. Temperature extremes (Hot AND Cold), Flash Flooding, Extreme sudden Wind Storms--one needs to be alert and aware!! The highest ambient air temp ever recorded in the United States was 134.4 degress and that did in fact occur in Death Valley. In addition to this, SURFACE temperatures on the desert floor can approach 200 degrees. To quote Paris Hilton--"That's Hot"!!
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
505 posts, read 1,954,592 times
Reputation: 257
Default dv

We went there in June, and it was all but closed up for the season. We didn't even have to pay an entrance fee. The mercury was 112 in June, and seriously, we were practically the only ones there. We kept on driving after taking a few pictures. The mountains near by in California were very nice that time a year.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,710,539 times
Reputation: 5342
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfyum View Post
Ok, I didn't know whether to put this in the Cali forums, AZ forums or NV forums, so I figured here is best. I am seriously considered going to Death Valley in July or Aug. I was wanting to fly into Phoenix and drive through Bullhead & Havasu - I'd like to feel both (note I say feel instead of see! ) - but the drive from Phoenix to either place is about 4 HOURS!!! And then however long to Death Valley! After all that driving - who the hell has the energy to hike?! I see the closest airport is Vegas, but I've been to their slot filled airport (flight from the Springs to Tucson - is that outta the way or whaaaat?! ) & have absolutely no desire to step foot in Vegas. So for any of you that have done this trip, (especially from FL, or the East Coast, & by plane) please share your experiences & wisdoms. Thanks!
Are you absolutely joking me? You are either suicidal, or very funny!! You obviously have never been to this part of the country before. A layover in McCarran airport doesn't count. You have no idea what 120+ degree heat is like. It's called DEATH valley for a reason. Don't even think about going there in the summer unless if you want to die. If you are just hankering to find out what an oven feels like just fly into Phoenix this July or August and walk around here. At least here, if you pass out from heat exhaustion and severe sun burns, there are hospitals around.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:12 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,358,698 times
Reputation: 1792
I've been there. It's beautiful. I love the stark desert scenery and peace and quiet. I would never go there in the summer though. It is incredibly dangerous to do so, especially if the plans include something physical like hiking.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,455 posts, read 7,298,090 times
Reputation: 1410
I went in March..I have to say I was suprrised just how hot it was in early march down at the bottom. The drive was awesome (I got off the highway in Baker, CA and drove in from there, and then drove out by Pahrump, NV). I loved it, and want to go back....but I got a bad farmers tan that day, only took about 2 hours, just from driving !!

anyway....I think...my car overheating would be the biggest concern. there are a lot of fairly desolate roads there even though its a national park, I think cell phone coverage is also pretty much non-existant. I think if you stay on the main road though, and have a brand new rental car you should be fine....but what do I know, I'm from illinois.

Anyway, if your goin, yeah I would fly into las vegas.....or Los Angeles....I personally think its a pretty drive from L.A to Death Valley...if you like mountains and desert.
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